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Old 01-22-2007, 09:38 PM   #46
ehagerty
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You'll love it!

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Originally Posted by S.Poppins View Post
Wow, just added this to my must try list! Great pics!
I've never known anyone who (a) had a bad meal here and / or (b) didn't like the restaurant. Keep your expectations reasonable and be prepared to add a new "must do" restaurant to your vacation list....
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:50 PM   #47
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Maybe even better!?!?!

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Originally Posted by Auntie E View Post
Thanks for posting!!! Just booked my flights for Nov 2007 and haven't been in several years. California Grill has always been one of my favorites at WDW. I planned on asking if it was as good as I remember....based on your pictures it looks like I have my answer....

Hey - I'm an "Auntie E" too!!

I only started coming once they implemented the Dining Plan. Now, I would like to think I am a "regular" - meaning, I make it a point to go at least once each trip. So far, that includes:
June 2006 (twice in two weeks)
Oct 2006 (once in 4 days)
Jan 2007 (once in five days)

with reservations for
Mar 2007 (once in 2 days - extended business trip to FLL)
June 2007 (twice in 12 days)
Oct 2007 (not reserved yet, but maybe once - after DVC member cruise, during the Martial Arts weekend - hubby is master instructor, I am black belt as well)

That about accounts for all my planned time off this year!!!
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:29 AM   #48
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The pictures look great. I never thought I would step foot in CA Grill again, but you have me excited about a reservation I just made. I hope things turn around for this restaurant with the guidance of the new chef.
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:53 PM   #49
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wow,
really nice pictures. I used to live right near disney, well since I was 14, and those pics just made me sooo homesick. Those pictures are great.
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:01 PM   #50
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Thank you

Glad you enjoyed...
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:01 AM   #51
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Great photos thanks
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:59 PM   #52
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What would be a good time to get an ADR here in December to see the beautiful sunset and fireworks? Would it be a good place for my DD to celebrate her 11th b-day? Do they do cakes? We have never been to Cal. Grill before and you have made us want to go there. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures!
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:38 PM   #53
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You are most welcome!

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Great photos thanks
Anytime!
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:56 PM   #54
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Best reservation time in December... Response

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Originally Posted by SkcMom View Post
What would be a good time to get an ADR here in December to see the beautiful sunset and fireworks? Would it be a good place for my DD to celebrate her 11th b-day? Do they do cakes? We have never been to Cal. Grill before and you have made us want to go there. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures!
I don't know that I absolutely know the specific answer to your question, but I will share what I DO know on the assumption that the information will be helpful...

The earliest reservation you can get is for 5:30 pm, regardless of month. I would think that scheduling a 5:30 reservation would ensure the "beautiful sunset" requirement, given the time of year (December), although, the closer you are to Dec 21st (shortest day of year), the shorter the sunset time you will have.

As for perfect timing transition from dinner to Wishes, that will depend on the "normal" time the MK park closes during the week you have in mind. If it is a quasi-peek week (week after Thanksgiving? week before Christmas? I don't know anymore), and the MK stay open past 08:00 pm, then you probably can't easily have both the sunset and Wishes without a break in between.

Couple of thoughts:

Ideal Schedule (what we had in January - low season - where MK closes at 08:00 pm):
05:30 - Dinner reservation. sunset view
07:30 - settle check, mosey out to balconey, scout out best photo and/or sound option (note: the entire side of the balconey is a good photo spot, since no one can get in front of you. For sound, however, you might want to scout out the speakers. The sound level is very appropriate, but if you are next to a large group, they will inevitably chat among themselves and partially obscure the sound track. If you position yourself in front of a speaker - presuming the sound track is important to you - peripheral sound won't be a problem).
08:00 - Wishes

Alternate Schedule - Wishes NOT within 2 hours of sunset
Same as above, only have a plan to use the break between the end of dinner and the start of Wishes. You are allowed to return to the balcony upon display of your dinner receipt. If your dinner ends at 07:30 and Wishes starts at 10:00, this is what I would do:
- If I had a park pass, I would return to the MK and see Wishes from there - it is a superior entertainment experience from within the park.
- If I did not have a park pass, I would consider the following options to use the time between dinner and Wishes from CG balcony:
--- Boat ride from CR to WL, Ft Wilderness and back - either round trip without getting off, just for the boat ride - or get off and explore the other resort areas. Need to be conscious of travel time in order to get back to CR, up the escalator, out to the balcony in time...
--- Monorail rail - same as above - go for the ride itself or get off at PR or GF for a short time. GF has GREAT piano and band entertainment for free in the lobby - a few steps from the monorail line)
--- Browse the CR shops (I'm not much of a shopper - but for those who are...)

As for birthday celebration - all Disney restaurants have provision for such things - I would ask when you make the reservation, ask again at the podium, ask again when you talk to your waiter, just to ensure that you get what you want. I know that the last couple of times I was there, the waiter started the conversation with "Are we celebrating anything special tonight?"
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:49 PM   #55
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Geez ehagerty thanks so much!! I should have mentioned it would be on December 11th that we would be going there. THANKS!!
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:48 PM   #56
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Your welcome!!

No problem
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Old 01-30-2007, 12:06 AM   #57
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What lovely, lovely photos! Thank you so much. Cant wait to go to CG.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:03 AM   #58
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Cali Grill was my choice for my birthday dinner on our upcoming trip and these photos make me sooo excited!! Also, we're buying the Cannon Rebel before our trip, ehagerty- I only hope our photos turn out half as good!!
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:10 PM   #59
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Happy Birthday, new Canon owner!

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Cali Grill was my choice for my birthday dinner on our upcoming trip and these photos make me sooo excited!! Also, we're buying the Cannon Rebel before our trip, ehagerty- I only hope our photos turn out half as good!!
When can we expect the photo-journal of your birthday meal?? I look forward to your pictures!!!

The Canon is a great camera - not the only great camera, but a great camera that I know. If you are already a reasonably skilled photographer (lighting, composition), you will love the results. The beauty of digital is that you can take many pictures and delete the inferior ones!

These are my hints for food photography (there are books, but most of us can't think in terms of full checklists when taking a picture):
  1. Patience - it's human nature to start eating as soon as the plate hits the table. Take a deep breath, lean back and view the plate like you would a flower.
  1. Photo Check - I usually check for 3 simple things, just before - and after - taking the shot (to determine need for retake):
  • Focus- is it sharp?
  • Light- too bright? not bright enough? (how to correct for these is a longer thread)
  • Composition / Clutter- are there crumpled napkins, dirty silverware, half an elbow, etc. in the shot? Depending on placement, some can be cropped out, but frequently, they cannot.
Kind of like an internlized photo-mantra "Sharp-Light-Clutter"...

Oh, and tell your server to ask Chef Jens what he recommends that night. Let them know you've seen the pictures and your expectations are HIGH!!
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:12 PM   #60
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It is in your plans?

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What lovely, lovely photos! Thank you so much. Cant wait to go to CG.
If you haven't been, I think you'll really like it. If you have been, it's one of those repeat-experiences that doesn't disappoint!
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